March 9, 2013
The Minnesota wrestling team sits in third place after the first session of the 2013 Big Ten Championships. The Golden Gophers collected 49.0 team points in the morning competition at Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois. Iowa holds the top spot with 79.0 points, while defending champion Penn State holds 62.0 points.
After two rounds of action, five Gopher individuals remain alive for an individual title, including defending Big Ten Champions Kevin Steinhaus (184 lbs.) and Tony Nelson (285 lbs.). In addition, Nick Dardanes (141 lbs.), Dylan Ness (149 lbs.), and Scott Schiller (197 lbs.) will compete in tonight’s semifinals. The remaining five will compete in wrestlebacks in pursuit of third place.
After receiving a bye in the first round, N. Dardanes faced Northwestern’s Pat Greco in the quarterfinals. Dardanes came out on top with a 6-2 decision. As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, he will face No. 3 Mark Ballweg of Iowa.
Ness (No. 3 seed) worked through two rounds to earn his spot in the semifinals. He went up against Northwestern’s Dylan Marriott in the opening round of the tournament and came out to a 9-3 decision. In the second round, he earned bonus points for the team effort with a pin over Caleb Ervin (ILL) at the 4:07 mark. Ness will meet MSU’s Dan Osterman who upset second-seeded Ivan Lopouchanski (PUR), 3-2, in the second tiebreaker.
Steinhaus showed up and excelled to help Minnesota earn bonus points headed into the second session. The No. 2 seed competed in two matches this morning and earned technical falls in both. First, facing Northwestern’s Jacob Berkowitz, he tallied a 19-1 finish at the 7:00 mark after multiple three-point near falls. Steinhaus continued his dominance in the quarterfinals and defeated Indiana’s Luke Sheridan by a 16-1 score, ending it even faster at 4:26. Up next, he will see Josh Ihnen of Nebraska.
Also receiving a bye in the first round of competition, second-seeded Schiller came out strong in the quarterfinals against Wisconsin’s No. 7 Jackson Hein. After two quieter periods, Schiller made his move in the third to gather the 5-3 victory. Schiller awaits No. 6 Nate Burak in the semifinals.
As the third Gopher with a first-round bye, Nelson overcame Michigan’s Ben Apland by a 4-0 decision. His heavyweight semifinal will consist of a flashback to last year’s title match as Nelson is set to face Iowa’s Bobby Telford. Telford advances after a 4-0 decision over Mike McClure (MSU).
David Thorn (125 lbs.), Chris Dardanes (133 lbs.), Danny Zilverberg (157 lbs.), Cody Yohn (165 lbs.), and Logan Storley (174 lbs.) will continue competition in the consolation. Storley, the No. 1 seed headed into the weekend fell in a heartbreaker to No. 8 Dan Yates in the quarterfinals.
For complete list of standings and brackets, please click here.
Session II will take place tonight at 5 p.m. Make sure to tune into the live blog and Gopher All-Access for updates. You can also find additional information at the tournament central page.